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Sunday, October 19, 2008

BioBeer Fights Cancer and Gets You Drunk, Not Necessarily In That Order

By Ed Grabianowski

A team of students from Houston's Rice University are a virtual lock for a Nobel Prize with their latest research. They've bioengineered a beer that has anticancer properties. Each sip of their new brew contains resveratrol, the chemical found in wine and believed to be responsible for reduced cancer rates in lab tests. How long before you can find Resveratrol IPA on store shelves?

The BioBeer project will be entered into the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition to be held next month. Each team uses BioBricks, which are basically DNA toolkits, to create new lifeforms that do interesting things. Although the definition of "interesting" seems rather loose - past entrants included bacteria that smell different depending on whether they're growing or not.

The Rice team, several members of which are not old enough to drink, has genetically engineered a yeast so it will produce resveratrol in a two-step process (one gene produces some stuff, another gene makes the stuff into resveratrol). They haven't actually brewed any yet, and there are a whole lot of steps in between now and the day you can toss back a frosty mug of Cancer Destroyer Porter, but at least the team isn't creating something that could wipe out humanity. According the Rice press release:

Their entry last year, a bacterial virus that fought antibiotic resistance, was well-received but finished out of the prize running.

Original here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Resveratrol can help you to lead a long and healthy life so says Dr. Oz.
Red wine alone does not supply enough resveratrol to achieve the
full range of benefits. You need to take high potency resveratrol
supplements to achieve the results documented in scientific studies.
Resveratrol Supplements can also help you control your weight naturally
by increasing energy, reducing cravings, and limiting your appetite.
According to Wikipedia, Consumer Lab, an independent dietary
supplement and over the counter products evaluation organization,
published a report on 13 November 2007 on the popular resveratrol
supplements. The organization reported that there exists a wide range
in quality, dose, and price among the 13 resveratrol products
evaluated. The actual amount of resveratrol contained in the
different brands range from 2.2mg for Revatrol, which claimed to have
400mg of "Red Wine Grape Complex", to 500mg for Transmax,
which is consistent with the amount claimed on the product's label.
Prices per 100mg of resveratrol ranged from less than $.30 for
products made by, jarrow, and country life, to a high of
$45.27 for the Revatrol brand.